History of Ancient Religion


Your overall grade for this hybrid course will be determined by your performance on weekly online quizzes, weekly online reading responses, three essays, and a final exam.

Your grade for the course will be determined from the following:

Weekly:Online Quizzes14%
Online Ancient Excerpt Responses14%
One-Time:Ancient Excerpt Write-Up7%
Essay on Representations and Images 10%
Research Essay on an Ancient Work25%
Final Exam30%

Weekly Requirements

Online Quizzes

We’ll have short online quizzes after each class that are due on the Friday after each Tuesday class. These are to help gauge our relationship with the material in the readings and our discussions of them. Quizzes are based on the material you’ve prepared for that class and our in-class discussions.

If you did your readings for the class and came to the class meeting, you should be prepared for the online quiz. Quizzes are always based on the materials assigned for that class meeting, even if I am slightly behind the syllabus in class. Make sure to always do the assigned readings.

Missed quizzes are not made up. If you do not take a quiz by the Friday due date, you’ll get a zero for that quiz. Therefore, please make sure you come to class and do the readings.

Online Ancient Excerpt Responses

Each week there will be a brief primary source reading posted on the course website related to that week’s topic.

You need to post in the online discussion board twice each week:

  1. Your first post responds to the reading. For this you need to make a statement or an argument on some aspect of how the reading shows the subject culture’s relationship with religion in light of our readings and in-class discussions, giving an example of what you mean from the text.
  2. Your second post responds to the points made by other students, drawing attention to the interpretations that you think line up best with the reading and bringing up anything you think is significant that hasn’t yet been mentioned.

The first post can be made anytime up through the Thursday after the class meeting; the second post is needs to be made by the following Sunday. Your posts need to be specific and substantive, and will be graded accordingly.

One-Time Requirements

Essays (3)

Essay on Representations and Images

You’ll write an interpretive essay: a response to your choice of nonwritten artistic depictions of gender concepts in the ancient world, including sculpture, painting, performance, or film, comparing the history that’s come down to us with how it has been represented. Details are on the Essays page.

Research Essay on an Ancient Work

You’ll write a 4-to-5-page research essay in which you choose a work of ancient literature and discuss three ways it shows its author’s and his or her culture’s relationship with religion, as supported by the work itself and ancient or scholarly commentary on the work. Details are on the Essays page.

Proposal. You will submit a proposal for the paper partway through the semester, so I can give you feedback on your plans.

Ancient Excerpt Write-Up

You will sign up for one of the weekly excerpts and write up a 3-page essay describing the elements of religion shown in the excerpt as discussed by members of the class in the online responses.

Sign up for the excerpt you want to respond to on the sign-up sheet. This will be due one week after the online responses close. Details are on the Essays page.

Final Exam

The exam will be an in-class two-hour final exam. Details will be posted on the Exam page as the end of the semester approaches.